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Aaron Meyer; Here goes nothing.
Topic Started: May 5 2015, 10:21 PM (374 Views)
MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Heeeeey Legacy, welcome to your first version of Survival of the Fittest! Me llamo MK Kilmarnock, and I'm going to be giving you the ol' el critique-o. I've also had a bit o' the nip, so excuse me.

Aaron Meyer is currently DENIED pending some changes, to wit (comments are in hot pink):

Name: Aaron Meyer
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Grade: 12th grade
School: Cochise High School
Hobbies and Interests: Swim team, Boy Scouts, Psychology, Chemistry

Appearance: Aaron chooses to appear as business-like and professional as possible, even when the situation doesn't require such formality. Aaron has a rather narrow face with a slightly sharp chin, with Caucasian skin that is paler than average. He has slim eyes that give the appearance perpetually frustration, despite his mood. His eyes are acidic green, and he has developed a habit of rubbing his eyes when he is frustrated. His mouth seems to only have three settings: a smirk, a scowl, or his normal frown. While I like some of your descriptions, tone this one back a bit since it's a bit too colorful for a profile. It's okay to mention that he tends to frown often but cut the rest. His hair is naturally black, trimmed tightly around his noticeably small ears and combed back so thoroughly that it almost seems to be a layer of black paint coating his skull. I... was going to tell you to cut this too, but hell. I'm tired and I'll let you have it. Standing at 5' 10" and weighing a trim 125 pounds, Aaron has a thin, semi-athletic frame due to constant practice on the swim team. This actually puts him at underweight on male BMI charts. 'Constant swim practice' will make you ripped quickly - swimming is a great workout. Increase Aaron's weight. No need for him to be such a stick. Aaron tends to hold himself stiffly, as if he were preparing for a particularly punishing meeting with a company chairman. This sentence can pretty much end after 'stiffly'. We don't need these bonus descriptions. Even when relaxed, Aaron still tends to hold himself in the same position, with his hands tucked behind his back and legs locked at attention. That is not relaxed. You're contradicting himself here. You're probably looking for an 'at ease' position, for which you want to avoid the phrase 'at attention'.

To increase readability, I suggest inserting a space between paragraphs, like you've done for the biography section.
Aaron's outfit of choice consists of dark pleated dress pants and a white collared shirt, with black dress shoes polished to the point where one can almost see their reflection. Just say well-polished. Aaron is slightly farsighted, requiring a pair of thin silver reading glasses that Aaron sometimes forgets to remove. He tends to wear a loose black vest over the shirt, occasionally with an emerald-colored tie to add some color to the ensemble, but mostly decides to leave those additions at home unless such formality is considered beneficial. During the winter, Aaron chooses to add a thin silver jacket for the sake of convenience, as the winters in the Southwest are not particularly punishing. During the summer, Aaron occasionally swaps the dress shirt for a dark green polo shirt, but leaves the rest of the outfit intact. He calculated a style that he both liked and respected buisness-wise years ago, and there is no chance of him changing it. The only accessory in his outfit that he insists on having is a sterling silver watch, an item that he considers a lucky charm. He has since developed a nervous habit of spinning the watch around his wrist when he needs luck, often before important tests or swim meets. I had to skip ahead a little bit or else nearly this whole section would be pink. The appearances section does not care why Aaron does things, it merely concerns itself with how he looks. It's a generalization of how he usually looks - if he needs to look different on a special occasion, you can handle that in a thread, but here it's just taking up space. Also, I think you could use some restructuring in the appearance section. So far you've got physical appearance > wardrobe, which is fine. However, I think I'd like to see you organize it further and go from coarse to fine features. For instance, try putting height and weight first, then moving on to the small stuff like eye color or hair color. Then you can move on to style and posture.

Biography: Even before Aaron was born, his life was heavily influenced by the actions of his father, Carlton Meyer. Carlton had inherited a prosperous chemical plant from his parents, a company that had been handed down in the family as a tradition. However, Carlton was a greedy, slothful man who was more concerned about squandering the wealth hus 'his', not that it matters because it needs to be removed anyway. company provided him than actually supporting the industry. Carlton's one gift that allowed him to get away with this foolishness was his silver tongue, which allowed him to talk his way out of or into any situation he pleased. This trait also allowed him to seduce Vanessa Isaza, a young woman who had family ties to a booming international trade business. However, it wasn't until after Carlton propose to Vanessa was he informed that the Isaza trading business was handed down to the eldest son alone, and was not split among the family. By the time Carlton found out that Vanessa had not even an infinitesimal chance of receiving any portion of her family inheritance, it was far too late; Vanessa had already become pregnant with Carlton's child. Biting back his anger and frustration over the unexpected loss of future wealth, Carlton once again employed his silver tongue. He announced that their company's wealth would skyrocket before the company was handed down to his one and only heir, hoping to appeal to investor interests in order to recover the lost riches. Okay, so here's the thing: This is Aaron's profile, not Carlton's. I want this profile to start at Aaron's birth, and I need it to stay about him. I understand that the family fortune is important to Aaron's development but I need it to come into play only when it shapes him and, of course, it's not shaping him if he's not even born yet.

As it turned out, neither of the predictions came true. Firstly, the statement regarding Carlton's one and only heir was inaccurate by two. Vanessa gave birth to identical triplets, dubbed Carlton the Second, William, and Aaron, from oldest to youngest respectively. Yeah, so this can basically all be boiled down to 'Aaron was born as the youngest of three triplets to so and so'. Secondly, Carlton's silver tongue could not make up for his inability to run a company, and the chemical business began to slow as Carlton refused to curb his family's lavish spending. Faced with a crushing reality of three separate heirs and a floundering company, Carlton improvised and announced publicly that when the child thought worthiest reached legal age, the company would immediately be handed off to provide the industry a sense of rejuvenation. Carlton hoped that this seemingly compassionate gesture would pin any blame for the company's eventual collapse on one of his sons, as long as Carlton could manage to keep the company afloat for two decades. Again, this can be greatly cut as basically none of it is about Aaron.

Thus, Aaron entered a household of constant, intense competition. Battling his two brothers for the eventual inheritance of the chemical business, Aaron had to adapt to this crushing reality quickly or be left in the dust. Because of this sense of fierce rivalry, Aaron's time spent in kindergarten through early grade school were marred by few friends and a strained relationship with his brothers. Attending private school for most of his younger life, Aaron had to quickly cement a role in the family to excel within, or risk being overlooked by his father. When Carlton the Second began leaning towards social connections and William started to show athletic promise, Aaron saw a gap and leapt leaped for it, focusing heavily on academics. Aaron's school career from grade school through most of middle school was marked by outstanding grades and remarkable academic prowess, especially in scientific fields. Aaron Meyer became a staple name on the honor roll. See, right now, the profile seems to have found its focus and is much better.

This academic focus came at a cost, however. Aaron alienated himself from most of his colleagues, deciding early on that defeating his brothers was the priority in his adolescent life. Aaron became rather antisocial, reaching the point where he became aware that his classmates, at the encouragement of his brothers, had started to consider him a stereotypical nerd, a classification that Aaron couldn't easily argue.

Midway through middle school, Aaron was struck by the realization that he had absolutely no friends or even the barest hint of social capability, a notion that heavily shook his belief in defeating his brothers at all costs. Aaron's concentration slipped, and for the first time in his academic career, Aaron found himself searching a quarterly honor roll in vain for a nonexistent name. Aaron began to panic when confronted his own shortcoming, an opportunity seized by his brothers for belittlement and abuse. Aaron found himself despising himself both when he studied and when he decided not to, unable to find a role that he could fully support himself in.

Meanwhile, Aaron's father was struggling under the weight of his company's inevitable disintegration. Finding himself comparatively low on funds for the first time in his life, Carlton struggled to cut expenses without having to change his lavish lifestyle. The natural solution, in his opinion, was to pull the triplets out of expensive private schooling and instead enroll them in nearby public schools. Bluffing about how the subsequent switch from a private middle school to a public high school was healthy for the boys, and a chance to start anew, Carlton managed to save his wasteful lifestyle while still appearing benevolent.

Aaron took the bluff at face value, eager for the chance to start fresh and appear more social than he truly was. To his disgust, he found himself studying Carlton the Second's Can I suggest typing his name as Carlton II? This is coming from somebody who has a II in his name so I won't ask you to write 'Carl Jr.', because I'm pretty sure I'd kill the first person to call me junior, given the opportunity. behavior in hopes of absorbing any secrets about the bizarre manipulation of school hierarchy. Aaron spent the summer before freshman year in a mixture between intense academic studying to avoid any repetition of previous embarrassments, and spending his relatively substantial allowance on changing his appearance, attempting to look as professional and confident as possible. It's not entirely clear here whether or not the boys have attended school yet. The previous paragraph suggests no because the switch is from private middle to public high, suggesting the big change occurs between grades 8 and 9. This is backed up by the next paragraph, but this paragraph itself reads like Aaron's studying his brother's school behavior. Perhaps clarify what sort of behavior he's studying. Also his reasoning for trying to look as business-like as possible puzzle me. Aaron is a smart boy. Surely if he was attempting to fit in, he wouldn't be trying to look like Richie Rich in an Arizona public school.

Freshman year, as to be expected from any student, was a concoction of disappointment and resigned acceptance for Aaron. Upon taking the most challenging courses he could access, Aaron was disheartened to discover that the classes were not nearly as rigorous as what he had grown accustomed to in private school. On the brighter side, this meant that Aaron burned through his assignments with grades always north of a ninety. On the social front, Aaron found that old habits die hard. He still tended to avoid social interaction when he could, and his attempts at mimicking his brother's confident, popular demeanor led to Aaron being labeled a narcissist. The best Aaron could do was join the Boy Scouts and the swim team, intentionally choosing organizations that would look as impressive and well-rounded as possible to his father, while trying to avoid pitting himself against William's significant advantage regarding athletics. Swimming counts as athletics, does it not? I'm confused here. What are you trying to say? During the first few seasons of swim meets, Aaron performed abysmally, due to a lack of any sporting capability at the time. In Boy Scouts, Aaron performed much more impressively, jumping up the ranks at a stunning rate. By the end of freshman year, Aaron had already hit the rank of Star Scout. I'm actually going to take a bit of issue with this, as a member of the BSA and a Life Scout. In order to achieve a rank of Star, you need to need to be a first-class scout for four months. This gives him a maximum leeway of 5 months in which he must achieve tenderfoot, second class, then first class scouting ranks. Requirements for first class include at least 10 camping trips, 3 of which must be overnight as noted here. Most Boy Scout troops only hold camping trips about once a month or once every three weeks, so there's a bit of a time crunch here. I know some kids who got Eagle extremely quickly... one as early as 14 years old, in fact. But even he took more than a year to reach Star while Aaron seems to have done it in 9 months, which should be pretty much impossible.

When the end of freshman year rolled around, Aaron ended up in the top percentage of his class, and managed to secure a few acquaintances for the first time, what he considered to be a major achievement. As sophomore year approached, Aaron's win-at-all-costs attitude slowly began to return, although much less certainly than before. Spending most of summer vacation rigorously practicing swimming drills and crawling up Scout ranks, and going to summer camp, which no self-respecting Boy Scout would miss Aaron began to become less of a narcissist by imitation and more of naturally self-absorbed heir.

Sophomore year flew by for Aaron, with only a few memorable events; his achievement of Life Scout, gradual improvement on the swim team, and his sudden interest in Psychology. What Aaron had initially enrolled in as a type of filler class quickly fascinated him. He had always considered the human mind as an incomprehensible mess of emotions, and that each person was only capable of understanding their own. The ability to understand and predict a person's actions was groundbreaking for Aaron, who immediately attempted to apply it to his competitive and social standpoint. While less effective at forging relationships and more critical for knowing when to jump ship before the occasional friend group collapses inwards, Aaron was able to, more importantly, gain a leg up on his brothers in the competition for inheritance. Junior year was only really marked by two major happenings; Aaron's scientific expertise paid off and he ended up around the top of his class in Chemistry, and he reached Eagle Scout. This achievement was quite important to Aaron, who took the opportunity to belittle his brothers by proudly showing his achievement to his father.

As senior year approached, Aaron found himself quickly achieving to a large lead in the family race for the inheritance, happily assuming that it was due to his mixture of academic prowess and well-rounded extracurricular activities. The real reason, however, was due to the fact that Carlton had almost lost control of the chemical company and decided that the best scapegoat was the antisocial nerd of a son. ... What? Aaron, unaware of this, was quite proud of his achievement and decided to finish high school on a strong note, applying to Ivy League schools and once again maintaining impressive grades. Aaron is simply biding time at this point, patiently waiting for the end of high school and the subsequent end of the family rivalry.

Advantages: Aaron prides himself on his Eagle Scout status, and for good reason. This rank gives him noteworthy survival skills, especially when regarding camping and supporting himself in the wild. I take issues with how you've worded this. The rank itself gives you jack-diddly squat. It's the fact that he's earned it THROUGH having noteworthy survival skills. Athletic capability is by no means particularly impressive, but stamina be worth noting due to his dedication to the swim team. Awkwardly worded sentence. Try 'His athletic capability is by no means particularly impressive, but his stamina is worth noting due to his dedication to the swim team.' Mentally and academically, Aaron's specialization in chemistry could have multiple benefits, most likely in first aid or possibly improvised weaponry. This is fine profile-wise, but be careful when you're actually on the island. If you want to try anything with chemicals that seems a bit far-fetched, I highly suggest you run it by staff. Chances are, no, Aaron is NOT going to be able to make a bomb with what the terrorists have left him, sorry.
Disadvantages: Aaron tends to grow frustrated and begins to panic when his actions don't go according to plan, so threatening discrepancies could most likely lead to rash, unwise decisions. Also, if Aaron believes someone is in a lower state then himself, he tends to either be condescending or outright ignorant of the other person. In a competition focused on convincing others not to kill you, this is a critical flaw. Omit that sentence. We do not need it. Aaron is also extremely unwilling to trust someone easily, due to his track record of competition with his brothers. As stated earlier, in a game of self-preservation, having few allies is extremely dangerous. And remove this sentence.

Hooooookay, so a few things I wanted to make a note of in general:

My general feelings about Aaron right now are that while there's a very solid foundation to work with (and I do dig your writing style for the most part, though it's not the best fit for profiles), I get this feeling that Aaron serves more as some general... concept or idea, and less as a living, breathing person. All of his advantages and skills seem tailor-made for the island (physical stamina, an interest in psychology which is notably missing from his advantages, some chemical knowledge, survival skills from the BSA) while his disadvantages are hardly mitigating (anti-socialness is far and away one of our most common disadvantages and, while it is a legitimate disadvantage in of itself, there's hardly anything else to go with it). The one good disadvantage I saw, Aaron's frustration and panic, is alluded to nowhere in the profile that I saw (please correct me if I'm wrong. Politely. I bite).

Something that strikes me as alien about Aaron, and why he just doesn't feel real to me is how he can be such a stuck-up loner and yet achieve ranks in the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA is not karate. It does not mill belts for kids who pay enough. Boy Scouts is very much about building camaraderie and trust with a group of people, and functioning as a team to survive. You can be Jack friggin' Dundee, but if you're as much of an absolute loner as this profile claims Aaron to be, you're not going anywhere. In fact, I see a more likely conclusion as the Boy Scouts teaching Aaron how to get along with people and strengthening his social skills to round him out. Aaaaaaalso it's worth pointing out that being from Arizona and learning survival skills will probably mean jack-all if the island takes place in, I don't know, a temperate woodland climate (which it normally does). Just something to consider, because then the survival strategy changes up.

Another thing about Boy Scouts because, lucky you, you got the staff member who was a member. Becoming an Eagle Scout isn't just like any other rank. It's a big deal. A HUGE fucking deal. One of the requirements (quite possibly the biggest and most intimidating one) is pitching and carrying out a community project in your neighborhood. This can be something that pulls an entire town together and it's not something to be taken lightly. I want some mention of this in Aaron's profile. Partially because I think it helps complete the character, and partially because I think it'll become pretty clear once it's included just how striking it is to have a lonely guy be in an organization that's all about working with others.

Some other things I really wanted to see more on: Where were the kids born? Where did they spend their childhoods (because these details are inexplicably missing. If they were born and raised in Kingman, this does need to be mentioned)? How often do the kids interact with one another, seeing as they're all in the same grade being triplets and all? What about relations between Aaron and his parents? Is there anything Aaron likes to do in his downtime that isn't school or extra-curricular activities? When he comes home from school or swim practice or Boy Scout meetings there has to be something he does to just unwind. These and many other details are things that help Aaron become a character rather than a set of skills and flaws.

Post back when you've made the changes and we'll take another look. There's a lot of work ahead of us.
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